Welcome to English.

Who knew I would choose to be an English Major?

(Maybe everyone except me),

This world is so beautiful already.

And I haven’t even plunged into the waters yet.

The waves touch my scared feet

And I?

I take a few steps back.

I don’t think I can do this.

The water can still reach my feet,

And it gently caresses me.

It convinces me to stay for a little longer.

So I do.

These waves have come into my life just recently.

The world teaches me to distance them.

It tells me that we have a predetermined relationship.

Governing it with laws of hierarchy

and power structures.

They teach, you learn.

But somehow,

These waves are different.

They always felt different.

The shore had blurred into the sea,

and I hadn’t realized.

With every passing day,

alongside classes and readings and piazza posts,

we’ve somehow grown into each other.

Gathering snippets from each others’ lives–

And today, all of a sudden,

we began writing a new novel.

India. New Zealand. Delhi. South India. Sonepat. Ashoka.

English. Punjabi. Hebrew. Hindi. Malayalam. Tamil. Telugu. Urdu.

Elder sibling. Younger sibling. Mothers. Home.

Vegetarian. Non vegetarian. Soy milk. Gajar ka halwa. Cake!

Fiction. Non fiction. Poetry.

Welcome to English.

‘English’, I thought, was a language.

A foreign tongue, in fact.

I didn’t realize it was only a signifier,

Signifying the ‘thing’ness in nothingness.

English is colorful walls and dim yellow lamps,

English is paintings and world maps.

English is old Hindi songs in the background.

English is books perched one on top of another–

stories and stories waiting to be unraveled.

And written.

English is politics, religion, language, laughter and gossip.

English is humming the same song,

and hoping that the lead would take care of the lyrics.

English is laughing at a joke only we would understand.

Because explaining it to you would mean bringing in a whole theory.

English is the glass window, staring into noisy streets and calm trees.

English is the sunshine outside and inside,

guiding the birds back home.

English is waiting with its arms open,

to embrace me into itself.

So I leave my sandals and worries at the doorstep,

and smile as I walk in.


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